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Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons has come on board to write and direct World War II drama “The Shadow King,” set during Benito Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia.

The Atlas Entertainment project is based on Maaza Mengiste’s historical fiction novel, set during the first real conflict of World War II and spotlighting the Ethiopian women soldiers who were left out of the historical record. The project will be produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle and executive produced by Stephanie Haymes-Roven and Curt Kanemoto, who will oversee the project for Atlas Entertainment.

“Harriet” garnered an Academy Award nomination for Cynthia Erivo for her portrayal of slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Lemmons’ credits include “Eve’s Bayou,” “Dr. Hugo,” “The Caveman’s Valentine,” “Talk to Me” and “Black Nativity.”

“Kasi’s films are epic and intimate all at once,” said Roven and Suckle. “It makes her the perfect filmmaker to bring to life Maaza’s complex characters and compelling world captured in ‘The Shadow King.’ We are thrilled to be working with her on such a special project.”

“Maaza Mengiste’s mesmerizing novel takes my breath away,” said Lemmons. “The imagery is so rich and powerful and the characters so vividly drawn, it naturally lends itself to adaptation. I’m very honored to be a part of bringing this brilliant book to the screen and I’m thrilled to be working with everyone at Atlas.”

“The Shadow King” was published by W.W. Norton & Company in September and was named a finalist for the 2019 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction. Lemmons is repped by Gersh and lawyer Nina Shaw.